The major factor that leads to a literary work being added to the canon is the innovative idea that it explores. If one were to have a look at the texts, whether ancient, modern, or post-modern, all had something different about them which led them to become a part of the canon they are today. The same appeal to be a part of the literary canon can be noticed in Pankaj Saini’s “Music Men Volume 1: Badoga. At present when many fiction writers are busy experimenting with different genres and sharing their ideas with the readers, Saini’s book brings adventure and excitement in mind is of the reader as soon as he reads the blurb. The blurb does give a slight idea about the book but still not complete details. This captures the interest of the readers and “Music and Men” is added to their ‘to read’ list.
The cover of the book sets the imagination of the readers to action, and they get engrossed in the book, right away. The cover designer says a lot of things in very few pictures. It has the image of one man doing different things, listening to music, boxing, and drinking which is pretty much what Sartaj’s life is about. Since he covers his ears, the fire in the background while he is boxing and the glass breaking, and the sadness on his face while drinking while listening to music, the author gives a clear hint of the characters’ lack of satisfaction and the crisis he is going through. Above everything, all these activities are shown to be happening inside a bottle with a closed lid which is an indicator of his being trapped.
The beginning of the book is such that many people can easily relate to the central character. The person with his mundane life and not much excitement are what the life of most people is like. But as the story begins to take a turn, the events thereafter set the excitement of the readers to fire, and they begin to enjoy the narrative that is to follow. This is from where the book becomes a part of the fantasy literature and a recommended read for all readers.
The most important thing that is likely to appeal to the readers is the innovative element of the superhero which is more or less in the infancy stage in the canon of Indian literature. In today’s time, superhero writing is far from mainstream writings. But “Music Men” can come about as a breath to life for superhero literature, and the genre. Also, this book may also be seen as a change from all the contemporary mainstream writing, and a breakaway into a new style, a modern renaissance in literary writing.
The protagonist, Sartaj is like an everyday youth who has a life similar to any regular person. His portrayal of emotions is raw and realistic. The author shows the appearance of different people in his life at different points of time who are instrumental in bringing out the different shades of his personality. The author gives him enough life and liberty to appear as a strong person with an individuality of his own. The first person narration is another factor that can lead to the book becoming popular among readers. It involves them personally in his life, and they don’t remain mere spectators. The other characters more or less contribute to his development and enhancing his persona.
The device of pictorial representation of the states of mind of the protagonist has also been employed deftly by the author at different intervals. The author ensures that the language remains close to the understanding of the reader and his excitement of reading the book remains sustained throughout. The plot is also well-designed and finely paced to keep the interest of the readers throughout and not letting them go off track anywhere. The author cleverly closes the novel with hints of a sequel that may follow anytime. The book is replete with songs and inspirational lines which do complete justice to the plot and stand in the complete support of it.
Since “Music Men” is a kind of superhero novel, it is very likely to appeal among the young, teenage readers, but at the same time, elders can also be read and enjoy the marvel that Saini has created and be entertained. Also at the same time, they can try to comprehend the character of Sartaj and the issues that he has and relate them to their lives or the lives of people around them. The plot, the concept, the central character, his life everything together become the USP of “Music Men” and make it a must-have in the collection of books of readers, and a recommended book for everyone.